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20 killed, dozens injured in El Paso shooting

20 killed, dozens injured in El Paso shooting

What we know:

  • 20 people killed and dozens injured in shooting near shopping mall in El Paso
  • White male suspect identified as Patrick Crusius taken into custody without incident
  • At least 22 people hospitalized, including one who died; 9 in critical but stable condition; one patient is 4 months old

Twenty people were killed and 26 others were wounded after a gunman went on a rampage Saturday at a Walmart in the Texas border town of El Paso, police said. A 21-year-old man was taken into custody after police responded within six minutes to a report of an active shooter near the Cielo Vista Mall.

The suspect, who was captured on surveillance video entering the Walmart, has been identified as 21-year-old Patrick Crusius, CBS News has confirmed. Sergeant Robert Gomez, a police spokesman, said the suspect was taken into custody “without incident” and there was no longer danger to the public.

Police Chief Greg Allen referenced a document allegedly left behind by the suspect. He said the shooting may have a “nexus” to a hate crime but declined to elaborate. He said police are considering capital murder charges.

Gomez said he thinks most of the victims were shot at the Walmart in the shopping complex. He said the store was packed with as many as 3,000 people during the busy back-to-school shopping season.

Earlier, El Paso police tweeted they had received reports of “multiple shooters” but they later said they did not believe there was more than one gunman. Police also said reports of a shooting at another location were “false.”

University of Medical Center of El Paso told CBS News it had also received 11 shooting victims, including one who died. They said a 4-month-old child was among the patients it was treating. Hospital spokesman Ryan Mielke said all of the victims suffered traumatic injuries in Saturday’s attack. He declined to provide additional details about the victims, including the one who died. Mielke said two children, ages 2 and 9, were stabilized at the medical center before being transferred to the neighboring El Paso Children’s Hospital.

Del Sol Medical Center told CBS News it was treating 11 patients from the shooting. It said seven were in critical condition, and two were stable. The patients ranged in age from 35 to 42.

According to Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, three of those killed were Mexican citizens. Mexican Consul General Mauricio Ibarra, who is based in El Paso, told Mexican authorities that six of those injured were Mexican citizens.

Alden Hall told CBSN he was in the Walmart when he saw the shooter wearing a black T-shirt, black glasses and “military-grade” ear protection. Hall, who served in the military, said he thinks the gunman had an AK-47.

Hall said the gunman shot at him and another man, who fell on the ground. He said he saw 13 people injured and one who he thinks was shot dead. Hall shot video of the parking lot outside the store, showing first responders transporting injured people in shopping carts.

Witness Ray Holguin told CBS News that he was about to go into the Walmart when he heard more than 10 gunshots. He said he saw at least one person, an elderly lady, fall to the ground, but he’s not sure if she was shot.

A U.S. soldier stationed at nearby Fort Bliss was at the mall when the shooting unfolded. Glendon Oakley said that, as soon as heard two gunshots, he took the threat seriously.

“We run towards Dillard’s, and it’s like a play pen over there. I see a whole bunch of kids like, without their parents running around screaming and crying, so I grab as many as possible,” Oakley told CBS Macon, Georgia station WMAZ. Oakley hails from central Georgia and grew up in Macon.

“I try to get a couple of other people too, you know, grab other kids, but parents are so worried about themselves, they’re gone,” Oakley said. “I’m thinking if I had a child what would I want somebody else to do.”

Walmart released a statement, saying it was working with law enforcement and “praying for the victims, the community & our associates, as well as the first responders.”

President Donald Trump tweeted: “Reports are very bad, many killed.”

Mr. Trump later tweeted condemning the shooting, calling it “an act of cowardice.”

“There are no reasons or excuses that will ever justify killing innocent people,” the president wrote. “Melania and I send our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to the great people of Texas.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott called the shooting “a heinous and senseless act of violence.” He said the state had deployed a number of law enforcement officers to the city.

U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar, who represents El Paso, said on Twitter she was “heartbroken” by the incident and was monitoring the situation. Her predecessor, presidential candidate and former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke, appeared shaken as he spoke at a candidate forum in Las Vegas on Saturday shortly after news of the shooting in his hometown was reported.

O’Rourke said he had called his wife before taking the stage and said the shooting shatters “any illusion that we have that progress is inevitable” on tackling gun violence.

The Democrat said he’d heard early reports that the shooter might have had a military-style weapon, saying we need to “keep that (expletive) on the battlefield and do not bring it into our communities.”

“We have to find some reason for optimism and hope or else we consign ourselves to a future where nearly 40,000 people are year will lose their lives to gun violence and I cannot accept that,” O’Rourke said.

The Texas Department of Transportation provided information on how to donate blood. The El Paso Police Department tweeted Saturday evening that “no further water or snack donations are needed” and instead encouraged those looking to help to donate to the El Paso Victims Relief Fund.

The  St. Pius X Catholic Church held a vigil in support of those affected by the shooting Saturday night.

Gun control activists, including members of the group Moms Demand Action, protested outside the White House Saturday night. Gay Valimont, a volunteer leader with the Florida chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, was in D.C. tonight for those demonstrations. He issued a statement saying the group was “fed up with the inaction of our senators to act on gun violence.”

“The shooting in El Paso is another horrific example of the toll of gun violence that takes 100 American lives every day,” Valimont told CBS News. “It’s long past time for the Senate to take up the background check bill that we know would save lives.”

Source: 20 killed, dozens injured in El Paso shooting

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